Aug 21, 2013

Banana Split Bars



The heart-healthy power bars have all the ingredients one might have on a banana split: made with quinoa, rolled oats, dried cherries, nuts and honey plus antioxidants from the cinnamon and chocolate – and they taste good too!


I got a copy of the Power Hungry: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook and couldn't decide which recipe I wanted to make first, they all look so good. Such a fun book, I asked them if they wanted to give some away to my fans and they said YES! So, three lucky winners will have a chance to win this cookbook, with loads of recipes for protein bars, granola bars, endurance bars, and even knock-offs of many store bought bars like Luna bars, Clif bars, and Kind bars to name a few. All the recipes are healthy, easy to make and use all natural ingredients. For a chance to win, visit Skinny Bits and leave a comment there.

These make a great snack, perfect to pack in your lunch bag, or great for powering up a workout or post-workout. While these bars weren't a big hit with my picky 3 year old, I thought these were tasty (I think she'll love the chocolate chip protein cookies). For variations of this, you can make a Maple Blueberry Bar, swapping out the cherries and honey for maple syrup and dried blueberries, or she suggests a Peanut Chocolate Banana Bar omitting the cinnamon and cherries and adding 2/3 cup of dry roasted peanuts in place of the walnuts.

To store, wrap them individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, keeping them airtight. 



Banana Split Bars
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 16  • Size: 1 bar  • Old Points: 4 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 4 pt
Calories: 143 • Fat: 4.5 g • Carb: 24 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 3.5 g • Sugar: 11 g
Sodium: 82 mg • Cholest: 12 mg

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups quick rolled oats (use gf oats for gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups very ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or craisins)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
 



Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with 2 pieces of foil or parchment paper, criss-crossing over so they fold over the pan; spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Combine the quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is barely absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 to 6 minutes, remove lid and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a medium bowl and let it cool completely.

Mix together the oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Add mashed bananas, egg, honey, oil and vanilla to the cooked bowl of quinoa and stir until just blended. Add the banana mixture to the oats mixture and stir until just blended. Mix in dried cherries, walnuts and chocolate chips.



Spread the batter evenly over the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. For best results, refrigerate 20 minutes before cutting.

Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars and refrigerate or freeze to store.

81 comments :

  1. These look and sound amazing and I have all the ingredients on hand :-). I think i'll try them today so I have something to take on my trip to CO. Will they be ok unrefrigerated for the day while traveling??

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  2. This looks very yummy. Is it possible to use something else instead of quinoa?

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  3. These sound delish! Would they taste the same if you left the quinoa out? Would you just add more oats for consistency? Thanks for the great recipes...use them all the time!

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  4. What can you replace cherries with. Not a huge fan of cherries

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    Replies
    1. how about raisins, cranberries, or any other dried fruit you like?

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    2. Yes, any dried fruit, these are the perfect base, you can easily swap out ingredients for stuff you like.

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  6. I imagine that you can use almost any kind of dried fruit. I'm planning on trying this with dried blueberries.

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  7. What can I replace the coconut oil with? Or where can I find this product?

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    Replies
    1. I've seen coconut oil in most grocery stores usually where they have the natural food products.

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    2. If you aren't familiar with coconut oil, you might be surprised when you see it. It's solid and white at room temperature, and usually comes in a mayonnaise type jar. It doesn't look like the other vegetable oils you probably are used to, so you may have seen it and not even realized! If you want to get it softer, you can place the jar in a warm water bath, or just scoop out as much as you need and microwave it briefly.

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    3. You can use another healthy oil if you can't find coconut oil.

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  8. How do you think this recipe would work without the egg? (for vegans!)

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    Replies
    1. You could try the vegan flax egg
      http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2011/10/how-to-make-a-flax-egg-for-vegan-baking-the-right-way/

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    2. Camilla says: VEGAN! : just replace the egg with 1/4 cup if your favorite egg replacer, such as a flax egg (1-1/2 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp water) or an extra 1/4 cup mashed ripe banana.

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  9. Would this work without the nuts for those of us with nut allergies?

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    Replies
    1. NUTS SUB: use your favorite roasts or raw seeds in place of the nuts ( I love sunflower seeds and pepitas), or just leave them out

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  10. do you think regular oats could be used in place of quick cooking?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure that would be fine. I usually throw them in my chopper to make them a little more fine if I use regular oats.

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  11. Thanks for taking care of your fans.

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  12. These are amazing, Gina! What a great idea for granola bars.

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  13. Ok, these are totally happening in my kitchen this weekend! The book sound amazing - definitely going to check it out!

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  14. Could you use canola oil instead of the coconut oil?

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  15. I really like the idea of knowing exactly what is in my bars. Thanks for the suggestion to freeze them. I may have to make up a big batch!

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  16. Your timing is perfect! The family is heading towards the hills this weekend to go hiking. These are a perfect trail food! Can't wait to make them! Thank you for ALL you do!

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  17. Going to make these ASAP. My daughter is going to love them!

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  18. I'm a cookbook junkie - I've gotta track this one down! Thanks for the tip and the delicious recipe (gorgeously photographed, as always :D )!

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  19. DO these need to be refrigerated after baking?

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    Replies
    1. I found they are easier to cut, but no they don't have to be. You just may not get perfectly straight cuts.

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  20. The recipe says mix oats etc in large bowl. Then add bananas, but then says in next sentence to add banana mixture to oats.
    They look good. Cant wait to try them.

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  21. They don't need to be refrigerated! They are biscuits.

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  22. I'm going to try today. Looks yummy. Thanks so much

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  23. What can I use instead of nuts?

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  24. i needed a recipe with pantry ingredients and there it is :) thank you.

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  25. Love the use of coconut oil in these bars...I'm always looking for ways to use it!

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  26. These bars might be the answer to our morning on-the-go breakfast dilemma for our two high school girls. Our family has been on WW since January and have lost a collective 180 pounds. The girls are loving their new slim bodies but have been struggling with finding easy breakfast foods to take with them when they are running late (too much time changing and re-changing clothes and finding shoes).
    By the way, your recipes have contributed to our wonderful weight loss and continue to inspire me as I create and refine our new way of eating going forward. Many, many hugs to you!

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    Replies
    1. Good for them!! Yes, I think this is perfect. I've been eating one every morning for breakfast since they are in my fridge.

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  27. I would love to try making my own healthy bars at home!
    mountaindreams1@gmail.com

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  28. Gina! Thank you sooooo much for writing about my new book. I'm a huge fan of your site (my pinterest board on chocolate says it all -- a lot of the recipes are yours :)) just to answer a few questions from the comments:

    (1) QUINOA SUBSTITUTION: absolutely, you can swap this out. Just use 1 cup of your favorite cooked grain. Brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, millet, whatever you like. I've even made them with uncooked, soaked buckwheat.

    (2) DRIED FRUIT SUB: you can use an equal amount if any dried fruit you like-- e.g., cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots, dates, etc. or if you do not like dried fruit, simply leave it out ( you can always add more chocolate chips, too)

    (3) NUTS SUB: use your favorite roasts or raw seeds in place of the nuts ( I love sunflower seeds and pepitas), or just leave them out

    (4) VEGAN! : just replace the egg with 1/4 cup if your favorite egg replacer, such as a flax egg (1-1/2 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp water) or an extra 1/4 cup mashed ripe banana.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Camila for answering there questions!! And yay on the Pinterest Board, will check it out :)

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  29. That parchment paper liner is the key to success! I've started using it for brownies and it makes it so much easier to cut them evenly!
    Blessings,
    Sinea
    Ducks ‘n a Row

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  30. Those banana bars are perfect for pre or post workout!

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  31. Great recipe going to try it today itself! However I always end up with my broken bars when I go to cut them. I've tried putting them in the freezer for a bit before cutting them...they still get all crumbly on me. suggestions welcome..:)

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  32. I cannot wait to try this recipe. Perfect snack!

    Jeannette

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  33. This sounds like a wonderful change from commercial energy bars. I would try adding some protein powder (probably the unflavored soy powder I'm trying to use up), because I need higher protein levels in my snacks. Thank you for posting this.

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  34. yum. these look absolutely delicious. I'll have to try these asap!

    The Casual Classic

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  35. I'm allergic to coconut and I noticed a lot of food products are adding coconut to their ingredient list. What can I substitute instead of coconut? I read in a earlier reply that coconut is a solid like shortening? Is that correct or could i use equal amounts of vegetable oil.

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    Replies
    1. Use your favourite oil!

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  36. Yay! I feel like I have been looking for a healthy granola bar recipe for forever! And as a bonus, I am pretty sure I have all the ingredients on hand :) Excited to try these!

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  37. I love having something to grab when I am spending the day out and about. I could grab them from the freezer on my way out of the door. Thanks

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  38. how is the texture?is it hard and chewy? or is it soft like lunabar?
    thnx

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  39. Mine are in the oven & I'm excited!!

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  40. Made these last night with dates and prunes because it's what I had on hand. So yummy!! Thank you Gina!

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  41. They are in the oven right now. Can't wait to try them. Yummy!

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  42. I would love a book! Great blog!

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  43. These are amazing!! So yummy!!

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  44. To make them more appealing to my kids, I drizzled a little melted chocolate bark on top once they cooled. My kids didn't even notice the cherries. ;)

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  45. Mine did not come together well. They are tasty, but messy and crumbly.

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  46. I made these yesterday. The taste is GREAT but they came out more "cake-y" and moist that I expected.

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  47. Hi Gina. How long do you think these will stay good in the fridge? Thanks!

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  48. LOVE these! Very filling and perfect for a quick breakfast. I probably added more dark chocolate chips than I should have but it is totally worth it!

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  49. Made two batches! Froze one! Everyone loves them :-)

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  50. Made two batches! Froze one! Everyone loves them :-)

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  51. These are delicious! My sister has a lot of food allergies, and can't have any grains so its hard for her to find snack foods... is there anything non-grain that could be substituted for the oats?The quinoa part is fine!

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  52. These are delicious! My sister has a lot of food allergies, and can't have any grains so its hard for her to find snack foods... is there anything non-grain that could be substituted for the oats?The quinoa part is fine!

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  53. What is the consistency of these bars? Are they like a granola bar with a crunch or more like a cliff bar? Or are they more like a baked oatmeal consistency? I am making them now and just want to know what consistency I should be expecting. They smell delicious!

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  54. Can I revsere the oatmeal qunioa ratio to increase the protein in the bars or add 1 cup oatmeal 1 1/3 qunioa?

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  55. The chocolate protein cookie you mentioned. Is that on this site or the cookbook?

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  56. would it taste ok without honey and chocolate i want t o make healthy snacks for my son with adhd and want to avoid sugary substances

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  57. Oh my gosh! absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

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  58. These are wonderful--tasty and very filling. I don't like walnuts, so I left them out, which brought the Points+ points down to 3. Thank you, Gina, for this and all of your other wonderful recipes!

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  59. These are delicious. My husband loves them as a grab-n-go breakfast.
    Would you consider moving the pictures out of the directions are of your post? Especially the one separating the ingredients from the directions. Having to scroll back and forth past the picture to see what measurement to add is frustrating.

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  60. Mine came out cake and soft but still incredibly delicious.

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  61. Made this receipe and was a hit ill tag on ig:)!

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